Memorial Page is Dedicated to those Veterans
Who Gave Their Lives for Their Country
US Navy SEALs
Members of SEAL Team 4, lost on 18 December 1989
USS McFaul is named after Engineman Chief Petty Office Donald
McFaul. Born September 20th 1957. This is taken form a article
in the USS
McFaul Commissioning Day booklet.
SUMMARY OF ACTION
For extraordinary heroism in action while serving as Platoon
Chief Petty Officer of SEAL Team Four GOLF Platoon at Paitilla
Airfield, Republic of Panama during Operation JUST CAUSE,
19-21 December, 1989. GOLF Platoon was an element of Naval
Special Warfare Task Unit PAPA, a force consisting of three
SEAL Platoons, special purpose U.S. Army and Air Force Operations
Aircraft and US Navy Patrol Boats. Task Unit PAPA's mission
was: to deny the use of Paitilla Airfield to General Noriega
and key Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) personnel; to disable
General Noriega's personal jet aircraft and other selected
aircraft; and to hold the airfield until relieved by conventional
forces at H+5 hours. This mission was crucial to the success
of Operation JUST CAUSE because it blocked a principal means
of escape for General Noriega and his associates.
As nightfall settled over Panama on 19 December, ENC McFaul
and his platoon launched their combat rubber craft (CRRC)
from a beach near Howard AFB, rendezvoused with a waiting
US Navy patrol boat off the coast, and began a clandestine
transit to a loitering point 3000 yds off the southern approach
to Paitilla Airfield.
At 2315 the SEAL elements began their infiltration to a beach
at the southern end of the airfield. As the force clandestinely
moved ashore, sounds of artillery fire began to fill the air
from the battles unfolding in and around Panama City. Concerned
that the force would soon be compromised, his platoon was
directed to move quickly to its objective.
As the Platoon patrolled up the airfield, an intelligence
report was received indicating that General Noriega was possibly
flying into Paitilla in four minutes aboard an unknown aircraft.
The platoon continued with all possible speed to the PDF hangar
on the northwestern side of the forty-three hundred foot runway
to ensure that General Noriega would not be able to use his
jet aircraft located inside the hangar.
As the first squad of GOLF Platoon closed to within fifty
yards of the hangar housing General Noriega's aircraft, they
became engaged in a fierce fire fight with well positioned
Panamanian Defense Forces in and between the hangars. As the
engagement continued ENC McFaul and the second squad fought
fiercely, attempting to suppress the enemy fire. The Platoon's
first squad had sustained heavy casualties in the initial
volley. Eight of the nine men had been wounded. ENC McFaul
can to realize that the men from first squad were not responding
to orders and were, in fact, all lying wounded in their exposed
positions. Most were barely able to operate their weapons.
He immediately responded to help the numerous wounded, since
his was the closest element approximately 25 yards south of
the first squad during the initial fire fight. ENC McFaul,
realizing that the first squad was in extreme danger, instructed
his men to continue their suppressing fire directed at the
PDF hangar while he and a corpsman moved forward to rescue
his stricken teammates. As he progressed toward the beaten
zone of the combat, ENC McFaul encountered LTJG Casey dragging
a wounded teammate from the fire fight. In the absence of
effective cover fire and with disregard for his personal safety,
ENC McFaul entered the kill zone with the single focus of
saving his teammates' lives. Moving quickly, he located Petty
Officer Moreno, who has suffered a severe head wound, and
courageously began to drag him from the deadly enemy fire.
As he desperately pulled Petty Office Moreno to safety, ENC
McFaul was savagely raked by enemy automatic weapons fire,
and on succumbing to his mortal wounds laid himself across
his teammate, protecting him from enemy fire.
ENC McFaul demonstrated the highest possible level of personal
sacrifice and valor. His extraordinary heroic actions, in total
disregard for his personal safety, saved the life of Petty Office
Moreno and inspired other heroic acts that unquestionably saved
more lives. He set the highest possible standard for the leadership
by example in combat. His selfless and extraordinary heroism clearly
warrant the special recognition of the Navy Cross.
Erich Anderson, et al, All
Navy SEAL Memorials
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